The Fantastic Four

Posted on August 27, 2013

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My Goodness. This cover of ‘Open Arms‘ by EXO’s main vocals Baek Hyun, Chen, D.O, and Lu Han on A Song For You was simply beautiful it melted me into a puddle of goo. My feels were just ineffable. I’m still in awe, y’all! God bless these talented kids. I know I’m a fan of EXO for a reason, and this is exactly it!

Finally!! A live vocal performance by all four main vocalists of EXO –  the complete vocal line! I’ve been waiting for this forever.

I’ve watched lots of Chen-Baek’s duet performances on radio shows/varieties (one of which being their divine performance of ‘Really I Didn’t Know‘ on Immortal Song that I uploaded here). I’ve also listened to one of Chen-D.O’s collaborations (check out their excellent cover of ‘Sunday Morninghere). Heck I’ve even seen the three of them sing live together on several occasions. But all four supposed main vocalists exclusively? Not so much. In fact, this has gotta be the first one for me. I rarely hear Lu Han sing live outside of their single promotion on music shows. I’m guessing Lu Han is often excluded because he’s Chinese while the other three are Korean (although I don’t see why, since a lot of songs they cover are English anyways.) It could also be that he’s not confident enough to show his skills or he considers himself to be subpar to the other three. (Lu Han can sometimes be frustratingly self-effacing. For whatever reason, he never introduces himself as one of EXO’s vocalists, as far as I know.) IDK. I’m just speculating.

While admittedly Lu Han’s vocals aren’t as strong as the other three (Bacon, Chen and D.O are naturals, obviously), I personally think he is a solid vocalist nevertheless. His range might be the most limited out of the four, but he brings a certain quality that the other three don’t have: softness. He balances out Baek Hyun, Chen and D.O with his mild, silvery timbre. Chen, on the other hand, is just a vocal powerhouse with his unbelievable range (He kills ’em high/long notes). Kyung Soo, as I’ve mentioned often, is more soulful and sultry with his husky voice. (He’ll always be the RnB/Soul king of EXO.) Then lastly, there’s Baek Hyun: my personal favorite out of the four vocally, my first EXO bias, the charm that pulled me into EXO. Bacon’s vocals, while at times are hard to differentiate from D.O’s, are deeper and more powerful. His singing voice is full and round… and just impeccable! To say it simply, they each have their own unique vocal traits that make a rich, colorful sound collectively. (Each of them sings beautifully to begin with.)

Also, I loved how they conveyed the song with much needed emotion and passion. You can tell they put their souls and their best efforts into this performance. (Chen’s protruding veins when he belted the high notes could not go unnoticed.) The best part was hands down their harmonization during the chorus.

The icing on the cake: Kyung Soo’s perfect English!! And he doesn’t even speak English. I know by experience that mastering another language’s pronunciation is a pain in the ass, especially when you don’t live around people who speak it. (Even after I’ve spent a couple months in China studying the language, my Chinese pronunciation still sucks.) Kyung Soo must have practiced well.  Or he’s just an adept learner. Either way, I’m impressed. Kudos to you, D.O! (The other members’ pronunciation wasn’t bad either. Lulu and Bacon got a slight accent, but it was totally passable. Overall a good job on the English.)

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Posted in: EXO, K-Pop